Bug hunting at Billings Estate

by Krista So when I saw that the Billings Estate was offering twice weekly afternoon sessions all about bugs and catching bugs, I figured it was perfect for the little man who loves bugs.  I played hooky from work this last Wednesday, and took Woo to catch some bugs!

We arrived at the appointed time, and I learned some valuable lessons about advance preparation.  The link that I had seen for the class (not the official site) was pretty vague on details, and I took that to mean that we should just show up.  Apparently we should have pre-registered for the class, and it was now full.  I asked if there was any way that they could squeeze us in, as we were unlikely to be able to stay for the entire session, and I was about to have a very sad three-year old if there were no bugs.  Cancellations were likely, so we were allowed to stay, but this was when I learned the second lesson about advance preparation, that the class was geared to children aged six to eight.  I felt confident that Woo would enjoy part of the class, so I assured them that we would leave if it was not appropriate.

Most of the parents left at this point, but I joined the few that stayed with the group.  We were led to a classroom where they taught about this week's bug.  The lesson was on ants, and the teacher started off by telling the children about the development from egg, larvae, pupa, to ant, fielding the many questions that were asked throughout her talk.  Woo was very keen to learn all about the ant, and remained very attentive in class.   When the lesson was finished, we were told that we would make an ant house for the ants that we catch, so that we could bring them home.  Woo was very excited by this, and eager to catch some bugs!

The children were given bug nets and led outside, where they were told to look for ants, moths, butterflies, spiders, and beetles.  The ants were located to their newly constructed homes, and there were jars to store any other bug that was caught.  The chaos that ensued was great - any time that a new bug was spotted, the group of children all converged on that spot until it was caught.  They then dispersed until a new bug was spotted.  The ants proved difficult to catch, but all of the children seemed to be pleased with the adventure.  Woo was happy to have caught several bugs, including an earwig, an ant, and several beetles.

I am glad that we stayed, despite Woo being under the recommended age.  I definitely needed to accompany him on the excursion, but he did really well, and really enjoyed himself.

The last lesson is up this week on Wednesday, August 25, from 2:00pm - 4:00pm at a cost of $6.00 per child.  I recommend you check it out if you can - it's on spiders!

Krista is married to Willy and mom to a 3 year old son, Woo, and 1.5 year old daughter Goose. You can find her on twitter @kgraydonald